IR 210 OPED Piece
The European migrant crisis has been in the news for quite some time now, as I write this paper the latest numbers say that in this year alone more than 744,000 people have escaped to Europe. (Holly Yan, CNN) Most of these refugees are people who have been forced to leave their home countries because of dire living conditions and immediate threat to the well being of their families. A majority of the refugees are from Syria, along with other troubled countries like Afghanistan, Eritrea and Iraq.
In this paper, I want to approach this “migrant” crisis in Europe from a humanitarian point of view, as the way it is being handled by the European Union and other states of the world makes me wonder whether the value of human life changes according to status in societies that we have constructed, is the value of a human life truly universal?
States in Europe were still figuring out ways to deal with this crisis which is said to be the largest of its kind after World War Two, when one picture brought the world’s attention to the severity of the loss of human lives in this ordeal. Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi with his cheeks pressed against the sand looked as though he could be in a deep slumber, but the sad reality was that Aylan, his five-year-old brother Ghalib and their mother all drowned on their way to Europe. The image of Aylan’s still body washed up on the shores of Turkey left the world shocked at such a pictorial representation of the rising deaths of refugees trying to escape to Europe in the hopes of a chance to survive. Mr. Kurdi was the only one who survived after their 15-foot rubber raft flipped in the high waves, “Now I don’t want anything, even if you give me all the countries in the world, I don’t want them. What was precious is gone”, he said the next day. Out of all the countries in the European Union, Germany has been most welcoming towards the refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany...